Most dieting blogs on social media ‘give bad advice’

Slimmers should not trust weight loss and diet advice on social media blogs, according to scientists.

They found just one in nine of the most popular sites gave accurate information.

Health experts claimed that social media bloggers often ‘offer inaccurate or biased diet advice’.

Some touted opinion as fact and failed to provide evidence for their claims, a conference in Scotland was told.

The Glasgow University team studied weight management blogs which had more than 80,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

They examined whether the health and diet claims made by influencers were transparent, trustworthy and nutritionally sound.

‘We found that the majority of the blogs could not be considered credible sources of weight management information, as they often presented opinion as fact and failed to meet proper nutritional criteria’

Lead researcher Christina Sabbagh said: ‘We found that the majority of the blogs could not be considered credible sources of weight management information, as they often presented opinion as fact and failed to meet proper nutritional criteria.

‘This is potentially harmful, as these blogs reach such a wide audience.

‘Social media influencers’ blogs are not credible resources for weight management.

‘Popularity and impact of social media in the context of the obesity epidemic suggests all influencers should be required to meet accepted scientifically or medically justified criteria for the provision of weight management advice online.’

Only one blog, by a registered nutritionist with a degree, passed overall with 75 per cent.

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